Political recruitments derail Railways: CJP

By Uzma Zafar

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmad has remarked that the political recruitments have derailed the Pakistan Railways.
The chief justice gave the remarks on Tuesday while hearing a case regarding the regularization of the employees recruited in the Pakistan Railways on a temporary basis.
The apex court suspended the decision of the service tribunal regarding regularisation of 80 employees and also admitted a petition of the Pakistan Railways against these 80 employees.
The counsel for PR told the court that these employees had been recruited in 2013 though they did not meet the 2012 Railway Policy.
Chief Justice Gulzar Ahamd remarked “The temporary recruitments are made on a political basis. The Pakistan Railways is in dire straits due to the non-professionalism of its officers. The department is rife with wrongdoings due to these political recruitments.”
Justice Ijazul Ahsan, another member of the three-judge bench hearing the case, said the railway officers after political recruitments frame a policy based on political grounds to regularize such employees.
“Eighty percent income of the railways is consumed by salaries and pensions,” Justice Ijaz said.
The CJP said the temporary staff draw their salaries while sitting at home doing nothing. “Such a state of affairs is behind the so many railway accidents,” he added. Justice Ijaz said there is no system in the railways as employees get their salaries and go home. “Still hundreds of people are being recruited by the PR on temporary basis every month,” said the CJP.
On this the railway counsel intervened informing the court that there was a ban on temporary recruitments.
Justice Ijaz was quick to respond, saying the railway officials still find a way to hire people.
Justice Ijaz said these political recruitments have destroyed the Pakistan Railways.
Earlier on Monday the Supreme Court had ruled that the high court has no jurisdiction to hear cases pertaining to employment.
Justice Mansoor Ali Shah gave this judgement while hearing a case regarding the promotion of an employee of the Services & General Administration Department, Punjab, Ms Shamim Usman to grade 20.Justice Shah in his judgement consisting of five pages remarked that as per Article 212 of the Constitution, the high court could not hear cases pertaining to employment.
The judgement said according to the law, only the service tribunal had the jurisdiction to hear cases about employment. It directed the high court to keep in view its scope of jurisdiction in the light of Article 212.The Supreme Court declared the Lahore High Court decision regarding Ms Usman’s promotion to grade 20 null and void. The apex court said that the LHC judgement was unconstitutional and ultra vires.
The judgement observed that Ms Usman filed her petition in the high court instead of filing it in the service tribunal. The apex court had accepted the Punjab government’s appeal against the LHC decision regarding Ms Usman’s promotion to grade 20.